DotsIssue: XXVII.6 November - December 2020
Valentin Gong, Xiaohui Wang, Lan Xiao
Access to digital information is an important right in our society, as it defines whether one can integrate into society and avoid digital exclusion.
However, the future form of digital interaction is getting increasingly exclusive.
With the development of mixed reality (MR) and the Internet of Things (IoT), people are linking the digital and physical, and making intangibles tangible. However, while we are approaching this exciting era filled with floating AR interfaces and gesture-controlled smart devices, we seem to have forgotten to make it beneficial to everyone.
As the world is entering this hand-gesture-controlled future driven by machine learning, we realize it will be difficult to accommodate disabilities; this is due to a lack of datasets. While we may use thousands of people's hand-motion video to train one model, it is almost impossible to find two people with exactly the same form of a disability. Disability is often highly individual, which is not reflected in machine learning. Can we imagine asking an upper-limb amputee to use Hololens?
Dots is an inclusive interface for future spatial computing that empowers the disabled person to design their way to interact with mixed reality and the Internet of Things based on their body conditions.
|User wearing Dots on his chin.|
|User wearing Dots on Hololens.|
Dots is a two-point body-gesture-recognition system. Each dot contains one IMU sensor, which can be attached to any movable body parts. After a simple calibration process, the relative motion between any two body parts can be sensed with the inertial-navigation technology, which represents the four fundamental units in a 3D interface (selecting, moving, rotating, scaling). The user can enjoy the full control of any spatial interfaces in MR and IoT.
We worked closely with the disabled community and the Alex Lewis Trust in the U.K. to validate the product through several rounds of user trials. Our key participant, Alex Lewis, is a thought leader in the global disabled-people community and the founder of the Alex Lewis Trust. His legendary experience fighting illness was made into a documentary by Channel 4 in the U.K. As not only a user but also an expert in the disabled community, Alex believes that "Dots can bring real impacts on disabled people globally, as it's the first time a product considers their differences and helps them get into the future digital world."
Let's make future more inclusive, together.
Dots is an inclusive interface for future spatial computing.
|User wearing Dots on his arm, with one on a desk.|
|Calibrating the system with Hololens.|
|Surfing the Internet with Hololens.|
|User working on his interior design model with Hololens.|
|A user wearing one Dot on his chin can type and send email just through performing the "bite" action.|
|By placing one Dot on the table and another on the user's arm, the user can draw using AR devices like Hololens.|
Valentin (Weilun) Gong is a master's student in innovation design engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. His research focuses on human-machine symbiosis, mixed reality, and HCI. firstname.lastname@example.org
Xiaohui Wang is a master's student in innovation design engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Her research focuses on emotional robotics, mixed reality, and HCI. email@example.com
Lan Xiao is a master's student in innovation design engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. His research focuses on sensory engineering, HCI, and accessibility. firstname.lastname@example.org
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